Sunday, March 16, 2014

Online classes, Choir, and Sick

The girls have been working super hard on their online classes.  We are hoping they will be able to finish by June 30 because that is the end of the year and they can only take 6 credits per year.  It is fairly flexible though so if they are close to finishing, they will still be able to take more classes for the following year.  The classes are fairly challenging though, and there are a few things the girls haven't done before like do a power point presentation, make a brochure, write arguments for and against certain  positions, run a scientific experiment complete with a theory, hypothesis and method and then write it all out and use graphs to illustrate the results, as well as graded quizes and tests.  They also have to make sure to schedule the oral assessments with the teacher and get their stuff turned in when they are done.  So it has had a learning curve for them, I'm hoping they'll get used to all that and start moving a little more quickly and use their time better.  If they can be done by June, they will have completed 4 full year classes in 4 months.  We'll see!!  But if nothing else whenever they do finish, I think they will have a wonderful sense of accomplishment.  I think they already recognize the value of it even though it has been hard.

#2 is 2 yrs. ahead taking Geometry and Latin, I'm sure she'd do fine in any of the 9th grade classes, so it is not too critical for her.  She really likes computers though and would like to program, so she's also taking a computer class that is the pre requisite for all the other programming and design classes she wants to take.  #1 is just right on track for finishing up credits for graduation, and we are hoping these classes will just give her a good transcript for when she applies to colleges.  It is a little more critical that she finish on time so she can take more credits this upcoming year or prove to the school if she decides to go full time that she can mange the harder classes.  We'll see though, for 9th and 10th grade, the high school here puts the kids in groups and they stay together like elementary school for the 4 core classes, just rotating teachers, and there are no bells and it is a pretty casual environment with little room for movement between.  She is also getting some opportunities to accompany and keep up her music.  I am going to need to start researching how to get a music scholarship and where.  I really don't know anything about it.  I woukd like to get her into lessons, but with the super cold winter, the price of propane gojng up and our house in Utah unsold, she will just have to keep going on her own.  I will probably order another keyboard for her so she can work on recording some of her songs and getting the music written, I think those things will help.

We got rid of all screens for kids except TV when I need it for the toddlers except on Friday and Saturday.  So the kids still earn minutes diring the week for finishin their schoolwork, but they don't get to play them until the weekend after their chores are done.  It has  een so much better!  All thise boys wanted to do ever was play video games!  Since we spent so much time packing, moving and unpacking and it was freezing outside and we didn't have most of our stuff, the screen time had gotten a bit out of hand.  And then with 8 kids and everyone wanting a turn, it had become ridiculous.  Even #7, one of the 4 yr. old twins, would say k mom After I do my math then  can play?  There was a lot of complaining and crying about it at first, but they have all koved on to playing board games, reading and going outside.  It is nice.

I have realized that my boys' lessons are much more effective when I do them individually which I had always done for math, but it has to be done for Greek also.  I did Greek with the girls together, but that hasn't worked with the boys.  #3 in particular does much better without his younger brother yelling out the answers first.  I have also learned that I have to do the middle often overlooked child #5 first or we may not get to him because the older kids all have these massive needs and his stuff really doesn't take long.  He is particularly smart, it is really nice to teach a smart kid, they make it so easy!

This week was super busy.  Monday we had some homeschool families from our town come over for Olympic Fun.  We did some races and shooting and sledding.  I think it will ne a nice social group for my older boys.  #2 had a great time running the event, she even made country flags and medals for the kids.  I like the people out here too, they are just so genuine, they're not like particularly outgoing or extra nice or anything, they just are who they are and don't put on airs.  It's very refreshing.

Tuesday, the kids performed for a nursing home with their choir and ensemble.  The residents really liked it and there was a lot of nice comments from workers walking by and just in general.  I'm really glad the kids have this opportunity, and the kids they perform with are just nice and genuine also, and they sound great.  It's just good.  Most of the kids in the ensemble and choir are also in our church ward, so it has been interesting to be on the majority side in the ward where I see more wardmembers outside of church than other ward members see each other.  The other members are so spread out that they don't all go to the same school, so that is quite a switch for me, since I was pretty much always on the outside at church since my kids didn't go to the same school everyone else did, so I like that a lot too.  But that was a busy day, we were near Costco and Trader joe's so we did that shopping and then I had to go to scouts and then everybody seemed to be getting sick.  I still made the kids do their schoolwork, but they all slept a lot and didn't get as much done as usual.  Then Thursday, the girls went to the temple with the youth group and Friday we had choir practice and stopped by the library (I'm trying the library again) and Saturday was a Relief Society activity and the girls were asked to babysit. And then my husband came down with the sickness and one of the twins puked, and so only the girls and I went to church today, but it was great, but now I have a headache, so good night, I'm gonna try to get a lot of sleep!

Looking forward to a calmer week, knock on wood!

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